This week, 1/8

To no one’s surprise, most of us who set New Year’s resolutions fail (88 percent, according to one study). And yet, we keep making them. It seems there’s something irresistible about the idea of a new year; a new chance to wipe the slate clean and start all over as stronger, thinner, healthier, kinder, more organized, more successful, more fun. Ourselves, but better.

We don’t magically become new people in January, but in government, the turn of the year really does bring change: On Monday, three new members joined two veterans on Charlottesville City Council, and on January 8, a new state legislative session begins, with a Democratic-led government for the first time in a generation. There’s an opportunity to make some major shifts, and for this issue, we asked a few community leaders to share three changes they’d like to see here in Charlottesville. Their answers range from better public transit to more trees to, as Haven director Stephen Hitchcock wrote, “Affordable housing; affordable housing; affordable housing.”

The internet will tell you that it’s best to be specific and to spread your resolutions throughout the year, rather than trying to change everything at once. But there’s also something valuable in thinking big. As filmmaker Brian Wimer told us, we need to use our collective imaginations to imagine how we want to live, not just five days from now (“that’s parking lots and like buying stock in Blockbuster”), but in 50 or 100 years. “If we want a better city,” he says, “we need to ask ‘What if?’”

Posted In:     Opinion,The Editor's Desk

Previous Post

This week, 12/27

Next Post

This week, 1/15

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to

Leave a Reply

Notify of